Sanfilippo’s “Conjugal Friendship”

Recently the Public Orthodoxy site has published a piece by Giacomo Sanfilippo under the title “Conjugal Friendship”. In it Sanfilippo writes, “To the question, ‘Can two persons of the same gender ‘have sex’ with each other?’ we hear from Holy Tradition a resounding no. Yet if we ask, ‘Can two persons of the same gender form a bond in which ‘the two become one?’ the scales begin to fall from our eyes.…

Part One: Of Gay Sex and Leaven

What does the Orthodox Church think about gay sex? The official answer is not hard to find. The Orthodox Church has always condemned gay sex as sinful and as something therefore not allowed to Christians. The case of gay sex is not much different from that of fornication (i.e. illicit “straight” sex)—fornication has also been condemned as sinful and is also not allowed to Christians. If a Christian man is a fornicator…

Converting the Heathen

In the 1996 edition of National Geographic magazine (paged through in a waiting room) I found an article on my old hometown of Toronto, in which a Torontonian commented on how the great urban city had changed over the years and become more multi-ethnic. The aging Torontonian delighted in his city’s diversity, and compared it to the more monochrome Protestant Toronto he had grown up in prior to World War II: “I grew up…

Rejoinder to Dr. Ladouceur

One dubious joy of publishing anything more controversial than a cookbook is that of attracting critical responses. One such critical response came lately from Dr. Paul Ladouceur, resident of Quebec, Canada, and a distinguished teacher at the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College, Toronto. Dr. Ladouceur’s negative critique of my 2012 book Feminism and Tradition was published in a recent number of the St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, which is perhaps a…

Understanding Pascha

In recent months I have come to the conclusion that the best place to understand the significance of Pascha is in a cancer ward, or a hospice for the dying, or by a deathbed. When one stands in any of these terrible places, one enjoys an immunity from the lies of the world. For the world tells each one of us that we are a race of immortals, destined never to die.…

The Apostasy of Judas

The hymns of Holy Week travel straight like arrows to the heart. There we learn of the harlot’s gratitude to Christ, she who formerly lived in the dark and moonless love of sin. We learn of the one who laboured long to serve the Master and increase the talents given to him and who was finally summoned to enter into the joy of his Lord. And also we learn of the apostasy…